Claims Process in DC Slip and Fall Cases
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in Washington, DC, the following is what you should know regarding the claims process and what a client should be doing during the claims process to maximize chances of recovering compensation. For more information regarding slip and fall cases or to discuss your case, call and schedule a consultation with a DC slip and fall accident lawyer today.
What is The Process of a Slip and Fall Case?
First you put the property owner on notice of the incident. Then the insurance company becomes involved. Once they are on notice of a potential claim, they will be performing their investigation while the injured party performs theirs.
Then, based upon the investigation, the injured party will present the theory of the case to the insurance company regarding the nature of the injuries and damages sustained. Once the injured party has completed treatment, the attorney will submit what is referred to as a demand letter, which lays out the case, this includes:
- Proof of their liability
- Substantiation of the damages through medical bills, lost wages, and any other types of damages
We present the letter to the insurance company in order to try to resolve the case without litigation, and go back and forth in that process to determine what issues have to be addressed in order to resolve the case short of litigation. If an agreement cannot be reached, the case moves into litigation, and a focus is placed on any additional matters that need to be considered for purposes of litigating the case, including any expert testimony that would be needed to establish issues of liability and treatment. Throughout the process, the injured party looks at it from a cost/benefit analysis of proceeding to litigation in order to maximize the injured party’s recovery.
What Should a Client Do During The Claims Process?
If they have secured an experienced attorney early in the process, they need to concentrate on providing any information regarding the accident and any witnesses to it, and not giving any sort of recorded statement to the other party. Their explanation will form the facts and circumstances, such as the names of the owners and managers of the property. The client also needs to save any footwear and clothing, but most importantly they need to seek medical attention for their injuries. If they have been injured, they need to document their injuries formally, because simply saying they’re hurt is not sufficient to prove the nature and extent of the injury, and the reasonableness of the treatment and the medical bills incurred.
That has to be established by medical professionals, so it’s very important that they seek medical attention to document their injury early on in the process. Many times, people don’t think they’re particularly injured in a serious way. Depending upon how the incident has occurred and the nature of the injury, sometimes you don’t feel the full extent of your injuries until a day or two or three later.
Sometimes people just think it’s going to go away on its own, but it’s much more advisable and important for them, once they are feeling the effects of the injury and its symptoms, to go to a doctor to document the injury immediately, early on in the case. If they don’t develop into anything serious, that’s great, but if they do, this will ensure that they’ve documented it such that there’s not a gap in treatment.
Finally, following up with the recommendations of the specific treatment and the medical providers, and doing everything in their power to get better by following the advice of the medical providers and doing everything they need to do to recover from their injuries as best and as quickly as they can.